Monday, March 06, 2006

Wisconsin Dem hurt by corruption probe

Congressional Quarterly reports:

Insiders from both parties consider Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle vulnerable this year in his bid for a second term.
He will face the winner of a Sept. 12 primary between two solid Republican contenders, 8th District Rep. Mark Green and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. He must play down ethics controversies that have clouded his administration. ...

The Doyle administration’s ethics problems, though, almost certainly will deprive the incumbent the luxury of an easy race. His administration has become the target of federal, state and local investigations into “pay-to-play” allegations surrounding a state travel contract and approval for the sale of a nuclear power plant in Kiewani, near Green Bay.
Mike McCabe, director of the watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said investigators were looking into a suspicious pattern of campaign contributions from utilities in a position to profit from the sale of the plant.
Five top state legislators, including Wisconsin’s former Senate and Assembly majority leaders, were convicted in a corruption investigation that began in 2001, while members of Doyle’s administration have faced allegations in the corruption probes.
“Jim Doyle didn’t invent these practices but he’s perpetuating these practices and he now is getting caught up in an environment where there’s just a whole lot more scrutiny . . . because we’re seeing lawmakers go to jail,” McCabe said.
The scandals have shaken Wisconsin’s reputation as a “clean government” state, and both Walker and Green hope they can capitalize on these issues to appeal to voters’ sense of propriety.

Yes, and it doesn't help an ethics-challenged Dem like Doyle when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are making a big issue of the "culture of corruption."

Previous DONKEY CONS coverage of Doyle's problems HERE, and more Wisconsin corruption reporting HERE.